Through the creation of private, discounted offers and a bit of gamification, Flubit, a U.K.-based online marketplace, believes it has a better mousetrap for smaller online retailers attempting to take on Amazon and other big online sellers.
On its website, Flubit first describes how it works for online buyers:
On its homepage, Flubit tells buyers, "Find the product you want to buy on Amazon.co.uk."
As for online sellers, Flubit describes itself as "a new and very different selling channel":
Flubit says it "diverts sales away from the major sellers, giving you orders where your marketing efforts have already failed and lost a sale, at no cost."
Flubit's retail partners are able to offer consumers savings of up to five to 15 percent because its commissions are more than half of those charged by Amazon and other online marketplaces. They also work on lower operating costs by using second-party sellers.
Working similarly to priceline.com and hotwire.com, the site also benefits from keeping prices secret. Writing for lovemoney.com, Donna Ferguson said keeping prices hidden "allows it to circumvent the bans that certain brands like Apple and Google impose on retailers, preventing their products being advertised below a set price."
Founded in 2012, Flubit claims to already rank as the fourth biggest marketplace for online retailers and recently partnered with Barclaycard to offer better pricing to its credit card members. While international expansion is possible, it's currently focused on adding more merchants in the U.K. and expanding its loyalty efforts.
Said Flubit CEO Bertie Stephens in a recent press release, "We've generated thousands of new users through our points and referral-based loyalty scheme, and our customers use those points to enhance their experience."
How appealing would a gamification-driven online marketplace site such as Flubit work have for U.S. consumers?